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Intense fear of IDS ruining my life


The Nightingale

New member
Oct 11, 2009
Instant death syndrome, that is.

Several months ago I ended up being bed bound due to fatigue, heart palpitations and pains in the chest. I was barely conscious at times - dizzy and nausea. I literally thought I might die at any moment. I ended up having tons of tests done on my heart - a 24 hr holter monitor, an echocardiogram, an hour-long ECG (whilst in hospital,) blood screening, around 25 ECGs, physical examinations etc. Yet I am still terrified that something is wrong with me and of IDS. I used to love to exercise, but now my fear is so great that I rarely do that. In the end it turns out my problems were probably being caused by acute anaemia and a few other conditions (non-heart related.) I have improved due to medication for the other things, but still get the occasional chest pain or moment where my heart feels out of sink. My fear has become incredibly debilitating - I wear a heart monitor 24 hours a day and have it set so it’ll beep if it goes up or down a lot during sleep (which is often when IDS occurs.) I check my vital signs regularly, such as blood pressure and often check my pulse to see if it’s regular etc.

Taking all of these precautions I’d been somewhat comforted and less worried. However, today I was reading about people’s theories on IDS. It terrified the hell out of me, as I’d always been under the impression that IDS usually has an underlying cause. Yet here on message boards I’m hearing people say that anyone can instantly die, at any age, and even in a good state of health. Now I am even more terrified than before, especially of sleeping.

I don’t know what to do because this fear consumes my every waking thought and ruins my social and family life. Is there anything I can do to get treatment for this phobia? I don’t think simply talking about it to a counsellor would work. It’s so deeply rooted.

Replies appreciated :cry:


Well-known member
Nov 23, 2008
Bonnie Scotland
Sorry to hear you are having such a hard time. I had a terrible fear, and i know you will think it is silly but it was that the world was gonna end. it is all i thought about. i was in hospital at the time, and started c.b.t and i did help a little, although i think as i got better i stopped thinking so much. i do think about it still, but realise it is not very likely to happen, and that worring wont make it less likely to happen. maybe you could try some c.b.t or counselling, it is worth a try. dont know about sudden death syndrome, so cannot really comment. hope someone can help you out x


I'll give my 2 pence worth, for what it's worth.

The human condition, & the basic programming of the human brain; is hard-wired to a degree in fear & anger. That is it's basic operatus mandi.

The biggest fear in humans is the fear of death - that is the mother of all fears. A lot of time, energy & effort is spent by the majority of people, in dealing with ways to overcome that reality & fear (whether consciously or unconsciously). We are all going to die; some sooner than others.

2 of the main mechanisms for overcoming the fear of death is symbolic immortality (works, i.e. producing/creating things that last longer than us), & literal immortality (primarily through religious beliefs). Both attempts have their problems.

How do you overcome the fear of death? It is a good question. I am personally not afraid of it - I do want a long life - but when my card is up; it's up, & that's it - not a lot that you can do about it.


New member
Oct 29, 2009
Sheffield, UK
I feel like this at the moment, scared of dying, of the world ending... this isnt helped by reading stuff I know I shouldnt! I got really freaked out the other night as I was laying in bed next to my bf and it suddenly hit me that I'm going to die one day... I got so scared of something happening and not being with him it all became too much... I dont know how to deal with this but it may help to know that I can relate!


I can remember when I first learned about death. There was a film on TV and a girl got sick and died and you saw her funeral. I didn't really understand what was going on so asked my mum. She explained it to me and I was gripped by a sudden fear. I cried and cried, held onto my mum tight and begged her for it not to be true. I woke up several times that night gripped by fear and sobbing asking my parents and family not to die.

The fear went for a while but during my teens it came back to a horrendous degree. I would always think about it at night and I couldn't sleep and would have panic attacks. I would get this very frightened feeling I couldn't get away from it, it would consume me.

Absurdley even though I was scared of death I made suicide attempts. Of course I was depressed at the time, but there was also a feeling of 'getting it over with' too. The fear of waiting to die became more than my fear of death.

I now console myself with the fact that it happens to everyone. It is a natural process, and some natural processes we go through as humans can be enjoyable. Why would death have to be different?

I think we are conditioned to think that there is always a begining and an end, it is hard for us to have the concept of infinity. We view death as losing our consciousness, and our friends and perhaps our place in the world and don't think of what good might happen from whatever belief you have of it, and i'm not saying that in a religious context.

Although I say this still I do occassionally get gripped by it although it is rare. I think most people do from time to time perhaps when a loved one unexpectedly dies or in tragedys.

Most days I am not so bothered about it now, I am resigned to it. I just figured that if I die I would probably be quite pissed at myself for spending so much time worrying about something that I can't help happening. I live in the moment now, I try to enjoy right here and right now, and accept those things that I can not change.


Whoops sorry I was generalising, I am tired and typing before my brain gets in gear!

Correction:..some view death as losing their......:oops:

I do think death motivates alot of people too. I know that some people think that there is no existence after death whatsoever so try to get as much enjoyment out of life as possible.

Some people get real enjoyment in putting their lives in danger, like walking on tightropes across buildings. I remember reading an article about a man that is a continual risk taker to the extreme, and he said that when he knows he is taking a huge risk and his life is in his hands it is the only time that his mind becomes free of all of the clutter, that he is truly mindful, it was a release. I thought it was very sad that he had to go to that extreme to achieve that.
Scared with BPD

Scared with BPD

Well-known member
Nov 9, 2009
Within Four Walls

Not sure how this message is going to be received, but, I believe that dying is the same process for your pet cat as your grandma! Sorry to be controversial but I have withessed both and a further time when a home vet had to come round and give that horrid injection - when I witnessed it, it truly was like his eyes became glassy and he was just a shell.

Guess what becomes frightening is your beliefs. I have had non-affiliated or group member status, feelings that buddhism suits me. Have to say I explored and enjoyed learning about other religions along the way, and I hope I have not whittered on too long.

I would not like to be viewed as a "buddhist" - I guess I just hate labels.

Everyone please keep safe
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